Women in the United States have possessed a broad legal right to abortion since Roe v. Wade and its companion case were handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973. Outside of the abortion context, though, the unborn child possesses broad legal rights in American property, torts, and criminal law.
Kimberly Stinnett learned from her obstetrician on May 9, 2012, that she was pregnant. Stinnett called her doctor’s answering service just two days later when she experienced fever and abdominal cramps. Karla Kennedy, M.D., called back and told Stinnett to report to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. Kennedy was not Stinnett’s regular obstetrician, but was sharing calls with him that weekend.